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Soybeans rise on Argentina rains

12/03/2012 @ 3:04pm

U.S. soybean futures rose 1% Monday, as heavy rains delayed the planting of a new soy crop in parts of Argentina.

The delays are sparking concerns among traders that Argentina, the world's third-largest soybean producer after the U.S. and Brazil, may not produce as large a crop as once expected. Global soybean supplies are tight after droughts in the U.S. and South America earlier this year cut production in both regions, making a large new crop in South America particularly important for replenishing world stockpiles, analysts say.

"They're trying to plant the soybean crop down there and they keep getting rain, which has slowed down the progress," said Drew Lerner, president of forecaster World Weather Inc. in Overland Park, Kan. "Where it's bad, it's bad."

The weather in Argentina has been wetter than normal for four months, and further heavy rain is likely this week in central Argentina, Mr. Lerner said.

Soybeans also rose in reaction to a sharp drop on Friday, when prices fell as market participants sold futures to take profits on recent gains. On Monday, some market participants bought soybeans because they saw the lower prices as a bargain amid tight world supplies, traders said.

Soybeans for January delivery settled up 15 cents, or 1%, at $14.53 3/4 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade, reaching a three-week closing high.

Wheat futures surged Monday morning after a large weekend purchase of American wheat by Egypt, the world's top wheat importer. Egypt's state-owned wheat buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities, said Saturday it bought 280,000 tons of American wheat, along with 120,000 tons of Romanian and French wheat. It was the country's first large purchase of U.S. wheat since the U.S. crop year began on June 1.

But wheat futures then eased on forecasts for rain in the southern Great Plains this weekend. Rain would ease concerns about parched soil leaving crops in states like Kansas vulnerable to freeze damage during their winter dormancy stage.

Both soybeans and wheat also pared their gains after a U.S. Department of Agriculture report showed officials last week had inspected or weighed for export a smaller amount of the two commodities than expected by analysts.

The USDA said 51.1 million bushels of soybeans were inspected or weighed for export in the week through Thursday, below the range of 55 million to 62 million bushels predicted by analysts. Still, soybean demand in general has remained strong in recent months despite tightened supplies.

Corn futures followed wheat and soybeans on Monday, starting the session higher but later turning negative. Corn then turned positive again at the end of the session, pulled higher by late gains in soybeans.

CBOT December wheat futures fell 2 3/4 cents, or 0.3%, at $8.42 a bushel. KCBT December wheat fell 4 3/4 cents, or 0.5%, to $8.92 3/4 a bushel. MGEX December wheat fell 6 cents, or 0.7%, to $9.12 1/2 a bushel.

December corn futures rose 1 cent, or 0.1%, to $7.49 a bushel.

Write to Owen Fletcher at
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
December 03, 2012 15:58 ET (20:58 GMT)
DJ U.S. GRAIN AND SOY REVIEW: Soybeans Rise on Argentina Rain->copyright

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